Road Rules 101: What Every New Brisbane Driver Needs to Know

By Richard

Road Rules 101: What Every New Brisbane Driver Needs to Know

Posted July 6, 2023

Alright, mate! You’ve just passed your driving test, and you’re ready to hit the road. But before you start exploring the vibrant city of Brisbane, it’s essential to grasp the local driving rules and etiquette.

Part I: The Bare Basics

Let’s get cracking with the basics first. It’s not just about driving; it’s about driving safely. Seat belts aren’t just a rule; they’re life savers. Make sure you’re wearing one and so are your passengers – every time, no exceptions.

Next, master your mirrors. They’re your eyes at the back of your head. Adjust them to have a clear view and check them frequently. Ignoring these could spell disaster, so let’s not!

Then, the indicators. They’re your car’s way of talking to other drivers, so be polite and use them appropriately. Last but certainly not least, stick to the speed limits. They’re there for a reason, so it’s no use being a speed demon.

Part II: Unique Road Rules of Brisbane

Alrighty, you’ve got the basics down. But Brisbane has some unique road rules you’ll need to wrap your head around. For instance, buses in Brisbane have right of way when leaving bus stops – it’s not just good manners, it’s the law. And U-turns? They’re not allowed at traffic lights unless a sign says otherwise. Make sure you’re not caught on the wrong side of these rules!

Part III: Parking Laws in Brisbane

Parking in Brisbane might seem like a game of Tetris, but it’s not that complex. Different zones have different rules, so understanding what each sign and colour means will save you a ticket or two. Remember, in clearway zones, stopping isn’t allowed during certain hours. And always keep an eye out for the sneaky ‘No Stopping’ and ‘No Parking’ signs. They’re small but mighty!

Part IV: Brisbane’s Road Etiquette

On to road etiquette now. In Brisbane, we keep left unless overtaking. It keeps the traffic flowing smoothly, and you won’t get a blast from the car behind. And remember, never block an intersection. It’s not just frustrating for other drivers; it’s against the rules.

Part V: Understanding Road Signs and Markings in Brisbane

Let’s chat about road signs and markings. They’re like the city’s secret code, and unlocking them will make your driving experience much smoother. From speed limit signs to pedestrian crossings, they’re all there to help you navigate the roads safely.

Part VI: Weather and Driving in Brisbane

The weather in Brisbanecan be a bit of a mixed bag. Sun, rain, and sometimes a bit of both in a single day. Driving in these conditions requires additional care. Rain can make roads slippery, and sun glare can reduce visibility. So always drive according to the conditions, and remember, your safety comes first!


Driving in Brisbane, like anywhere, requires patience, awareness, and respect for the rules. So, take a deep breath, stay calm, and enjoy the journey. Remember, you’re not just responsible for your safety, but others on the road too. So keep practicing, keep learning, and most importantly, drive safe, mate!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to wear a seat belt at all times while driving in Brisbane?

Absolutely! Seat belts are mandatory for all drivers and passengers in Brisbane, as well as throughout Australia. Wearing a seat belt significantly reduces the risk of injury in the event of a collision.

2. Can I make a U-turn at traffic lights in Brisbane?

Not unless there’s a sign indicating that U-turns are permitted. As a general rule, U-turns are not allowed at traffic lights in Brisbane unless a sign states otherwise.

3. What is the rule about buses in Brisbane?

In Brisbane, and indeed throughout Queensland, drivers are required to give way to buses when they’re pulling out from the kerb into traffic. This rule applies when the speed limit is 70km/h or less.

4. Can I park anywhere in Brisbane?

No, you must adhere to Brisbane’s parking laws. Different zones have different rules, and there are often restrictions about where you can and can’t park. Always look out for signage and adhere to the rules to avoid fines.

5. What does “keep left unless overtaking” mean?

This rule means that on multi-lane roads, you should stay in the left-hand lane unless you’re overtaking another vehicle. After overtaking, you should return to the left-hand lane when it’s safe to do so.

6. How does weather affect driving conditions in Brisbane?

Like any city, weather conditions can significantly impact driving conditions in Brisbane. For instance, rain can make roads slippery, and the glare from the sun can affect visibility. It’s always important to drive to the conditions and slow down when necessary.

7. How can I understand all the road signs and markings in Brisbane?

Road signs and markings in Brisbane follow the Australian standard. It may take some time to familiarise yourself with them, especially if you’re a new driver. Consider studying a guide to Australian road signs and markings, or take a defensive driving course to help understand these signs better.

8. What’s the speed limit in Brisbane?

In residential areas, the speed limit is typically 50 km/h unless signed otherwise. In school zones during school hours, the limit is 40 km/h. On highways and freeways, the limit can vary, often up to 100 km/h. Always look out for posted signs to be sure.


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